Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Time Magazine Hires Idiots

Lev Grossman in the April 24th issue, during the course of an article about Stephenie Meyer (whose name they spelled wrong in the illo caption, to boot):
There's no literary term for the quality Twilight and Harry Potter (and The Lord of the Rings) share, but you know it when you see it: their worlds have a freestanding internal integrity that makes you feel as if you should be able to buy real estate there.
The word you're looking for is "worldbuilding." It does exist; you just don't bother to pay attention.

Edit, two hours later: What Grossman is ignorant of is the fact that there is an established body of criticism concerning fantasy works -- or, worse, that he feels free to ignore it. Why is it that a writer for something as respected as Time magazine doesn't even realize he knows nothing about his subject -- or, again, feels that he can completely ignore that ignorance?

Lev, this is your homework: get a copy of the Clute/Grant Encyclopedia of Fantasy and look up "Polder" and "Wainscot." Read those entries, and follow whatever links interest you, for at least two hours. Be ready to show your work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Despite that fairly egregious paragraph, one can tell from reading his blog (http://www.time-blog.com/nerd_world/) that Grossman is one of the good guys -- a mainstream book reviewer who cares about and respects speculative fiction.

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